Forms, templates & inspection checklists

For work overseen by the Institutional Biosafety Committee

Any work with potentially biohazardous material must be approved by the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) before it can begin. To seek IBC review, use the forms, templates, and inspection checklists linked below.

It is important to plan ahead to ensure timely review of each research protocol. The IBC meets once a month according to schedule.


When completing forms, take into account all biological hazards associated with the proposed work. Consider how risk will be minimized. The IBC will review your forms.

Biosafety approval form (BAF) (doc)

For proposals and renewals for IBC-covered work with potentially biohazardous materials.

You should complete this form if you are a WSU-affiliated principal investigator (including those from the USDA Agricultural Research Service) and you currently do or plan to do any of the following:

  • Possess, store, transport, or work with recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid (r/sNA) molecules (i.e., DNA, RNA)
  • Work with human tissues, fluids, or cell lines
  • Work with other potentially biohazardous material
  • Engage in teaching, diagnostic, or extension activities that involve potentially biohazardous material

To look at an example BAF click here.

Tips for completing the BAF
Section 1: Basic contact information
  • Principal investigator
    NIH Guidelines refer to the researcher who is responsible for documentation, training, and reporting about use of recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid (r/sNA) molecules as the “principal investigator.” If you are submitting a BAF as a principal investigator, you must have a faculty appointment with WSU and meet funding agency requirements as a lead researcher. If you do not have such an appointment, you must partner with someone who does. The work can be documented through that individual on your behalf.
  • Lab personnel
    List all lab personnel who will work on the project, including faculty, staff, and students. When graduate students apply for graduation, the Graduate School will ask whether they were authorized to work with potentially biohazardous materials. This section of the BAF provides the necessary documentation.
  • Required signatures
    • Principal investigator
    • Department chair
    • Other principal investigator(s) whose lab space you share
Section 2: Description of research and facilities
  • Research project title
    The title should represent the protocol to be used for research using r/sNA or potentially biohazardous materials. If the protocol covers multiple research projects, the title should broadly reflect all work. IBC approval letters will list the approved general protocol.Additional research can be added to existing protocols that are “like and kind” to the already approved work. To do so, submit an amended BAF to the IBC. Proposals that are dissimilar should be submitted separately.
  • Yes or No section
    Fill out completely. This section is the basis for completing the
    rest of the BAF.
  • Abstract section
    Describe the proposed work with enough detail for the IBC to evaluate the safety protocols. Include the following:

    • Concise description of the proposed work
    • Technical aspects of the project in terms of biosafety (For example, include all relevant plasmid, vector host information in the abstract for r/sNA work.)
    • Associated biological hazards
    • Safety measures that will be followed
  • Supporting documentation
    It is not necessary to supply kit manuals. If they are useful for the committee, a link to the online version is acceptable. A link to online versions of supporting papers is preferred over submission of printed copies.
How to amend a BAF

Modify and resubmit the approved BAF.

When is an amendment needed?

An amendment is needed if the change affects the biological risk of the work, includes additional biohazardous materials, or would require changes in the biosafety manual, or would require an additional facility review.


  • Addition of a new piece of equipment that produces aerosols
  • New procedures that produce aerosols
  • Changes in responsible parties for the proposal
  • Changes in work locations
  • A BSL-1 proposal adding a Biosafety Level 2 (BSL-2) agent
  • All additions of agents to Biosafety Level  2 (BSL-2) and BSL-3 BAFs
Tips for amending the BAF
  • Provide a synopsis of all significant changes.
  • Attach supporting information /documentation.

Biosafety risk assessment (guidelines and form) (pdf)

Perform a risk assessment when planning, changing, or renewing a research project. Find additional information about conducting a conducting a risk assessment.

Incident report form

Complete this form to report workplace injury or illness.

Biosafety manual (BSM) templates

The templates linked below contain current standard biosafety practices. Each template walks you through requirements for protocol-specific information. The BSM is used as a training document. It must be reviewed and signed by all individuals working with r/sNA and potentially biohazardous materials.


  • Submission: Same deadline as the BAF. Once the BAF is submitted, the WSU biosafety officer will work with each investigator to mitigate risks involved in the research.
  • Renewal: BSM expires at the same time as the IBC approved protocol (every 3 years). Submit a revised BSM concurrent with your BAF renewal.

Need help?

Contact the WSU biosafety officer for help in developing or updating your

Facility review checklists



Animal facilities/vivariums